Tag: Astrology

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett

By Psyche | July 10, 2009 | 2 comments

Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett
Ibis Press, 9780892541508, 178 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2009

“…alchemy is not a smooth monolithic system, but rather a journey full of contradictions, false turns and dazzling insights into the worlds of creation.  At times it seems to defy a single definition. But, in its most general, all-encompassing form, we can say with some degree of confidence that alchemy is the art and science of bringing something to its final perfection.”

– Brian Cotnoir, from the first Preface

To most people, alchemy conjours images of ancient bearded men in dimly lit rooms hovering over various malodourous substances connected by an arcane network of tubes, beakers bubbling away, struggling in earnest to produce gold from lead. Those more familiar with Jung’s work might imagine that all this fancy is well and good, but, of course, it’s all allegorical, beneath which is philosophy deeply concerned with transforming the alchemist hirself. Bartlett argues that, for modern alchemists, there’s truth to both images. Continue reading


MythAstrology, by Raven Kaldera

By Gesigewigu's | July 1, 2009 | Leave a comment

MythAstrology: Exploring Planets & Pantheons, by Raven Kaldera
Llewellyn, 0738705160, 436 pp. (incl. appendix), 2004

It has been a while since I read an astrology book that struck me as unique and useful, and MythAstrology fits both those criteria. When learning, teaching or discussing astrology sometimes it is all too easy to rely on cookie cutter phrases, that you may not truly understand, sometimes they even become crutches that prevent deeper understanding. Kaldera introduces an other way to understand and view the different placements in the chart, by associating the placement of each planet in every sign with a God and some of their mythology.

Even as someone who has seriously studied astrology, I found this book useful, insightful and hilariously accurate. By using Gods and Myths, rather than Continue reading


Soul Centered Astrology, by Alan Oken

By Gesigewigu's | April 14, 2009 | Leave a comment

Soul Centered Astrology: A Key to Your Expanding Self, by Alan Oken
Ibis Press, 9780892541348, 410 pp., 1990, 2008

Oken, an astrologer and lecturer for many years, believes that humanity is transiting into a New Age, and that there are “certain dynamics of human psychology and relationship that current trends in astrological interpretation and counseling no longer satisfy.” As such, he puts forth to combine traditional astrology (or exoteric astrology in his language) with the teachings of the Theosophical Society, Alice Bailey, and the Ancient Wisdom Teachings.

The premise has me in mixed opinions. Continue reading


The Art and Practice of Geomancy, by John Michael Greer

By Gesigewigu's | April 13, 2009 | Leave a comment

Art and Practice of Geomancy, The: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance , by John Michael Greer
Weiser Books, 9781578634316, 243 pp. (incl. appendix), 2009

Geomancy is a form of divination that reached the height of popularity and practice in the middle ages and renaissance. Ignored for centuries, it became part of the Golden Dawn’s teaching, but it never really caught on, and there is a chance this book will help change that.

Greer first places the reader Continue reading


Review: The Mystery Traditions, by James Wasserman

By Mike Gleason | February 2, 2006 | Leave a comment

The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art, by James Wasserman
Destiny Books, 1594770883, 147 pp., 2005

This profusely illustrated volume gathers together a dazzling variety of imagery. These images do far more to illustrate the Western Mystery Traditions than any text could. That is not to say that this book does not contain written descriptions. It does. But the images, including several sets of Major Arcana of Tarot decks, do a much expanded job.

It contains illustrations in a variety of topics – Astrology and Cosmology, Kabbalah and the Tree of Life, Initiation, Magick and the Gods, Secret Societies (a new addition to this revised volume), Sexuality, Alchemy, Tarot, and Symbolist and Visionary Art. These images have almost all been printed before, but this assemblage is, in my experience, unique.

The majority of the images are presented in colour – some of them quite stunning. On top of everything else this book represents a gathering together in one place of images, any one of which can easily serve as a focus for meditation.

Each chapter includes a short introduction (four pages or less) of the material contained within it. And each image is properly placed within its time period, even though these images surely transcend any such limitations.

It is difficult to find words to describe this work. The images are gathered from so many times and locations; the writing of the introductory section of each chapter is so succinct; and the overall impression is so overwhelming that it should be approached, I feel, in small doses. To attempt to comprehend it in one or two sittings does a disservice to the work, and to yourself.

Allow the images in this book to work their magick on you. Permit them to stimulate new thoughts and inspire changes both in how you perceive yourself and the wider world. The benefits you reap will, most likely, be beyond your current comprehension.

This is one of the most visually stunning works I have seen in a very long time. I would have expected a much higher price for the quality, or a much lower quality based on the price. The combination of excellent quality and reasonable price was a very pleasant surprise. If you are interested in symbolic representations of mystical themes, this book belongs in your library. It is a book to be savoured and enjoyed on an on-going basis.


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